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Release: Jan. 31, 2003


Former University of Iowa faculty member Daniel Shapiro and duo-pianists Angela Cheng and Alvin Chow will be the featured artists for the UI Piano Festival 2003, presented by the piano area of the UI School of Music.

An annual event, the Piano Festival is a celebration of piano performance and teaching. It typically includes master classes and performances from outstanding visiting artist-teachers from around the world.

The current festival will offer two concerts by the guest artists, as well as two master classes, all of which are free and open to the public.

-- Shapiro will present a master class with piano students from the UI School of Music, at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, in Harper Hall of the UI Voxman Music Building.

-- Shapiro will play an all-Beethoven program, featuring the piano sonatas op. 14 nos. 1 and 2 and the “Diabelli” Variations, op. 120, at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, in Clapp Recital Hall.

-- Cheng and Chow will present a master class with piano students from the UI School of Music, at 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, in Harper Hall.

-- Cheng and Chow will perform a program of music for piano four-hands and for two pianos at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, in Clapp Recital Hall. They will play five of Johannes Brahms’ “Hungarian Dances”; the Fantasie in F minor, D. 940, by Franz Schubert; “Scaramouche” by Darius Milhaud; three movements from the “Dolly” Suite by Gabriel Faure; and a two-piano version of Maurice Ravel’s “La Valse.”

Currently a member of the faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Shapiro taught at the UI School of Music 1992-97. He is remembered locally for a remarkable series of recitals he gave in 1995, playing all of the Beethoven piano sonatas from memory in 8 performances over a 4-week period. He performed a second complete cycle of the Beethoven sonatas last year at the Cleveland Institute.

Shapiro has performed critically acclaimed recitals and concerto appearances across the United States, in Brazil, Britain, Ireland, Spain and France, and at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. He continues to gain recognition as a leading interpreter of Schubert, Beethoven and Mozart.

Shapiro received the top prize in the 1992 William Kapell International Piano Competition. He also won the American Pianists’ Association Beethoven Fellowship Award, the Joanna Hedges International Piano Competition, the Young Musicians’ Foundation Debut competition, and the International Piano Recording Competition.

As a chamber musician, Shapiro performs regularly with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the orchestra’s chamber series. He has participated at the Marlboro Music Festival, the Ravinia Festival and the Fellowship Program at Tanglewood, and was a winner in the Coleman Chamber Music Competition. He has released chamber music compact discs on the Harmonia Mundi and ASV labels.

Cheng and Chow met when they were both students of Sascha Gorodnitzki at the Juilliard School. They both later studied extensively with Menahem Pressler -- the pianist of the famed Beaux Arts Trio -- at Indiana University. Now married, they often perform as duo-pianists, and are both on the faculty of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music

Cheng is one of Canada’s most accomplished and respected pianists. She has appeared as soloist with many orchestras, including the Israel Philharmonic, Boston Pops, Buffalo Philharmonic, and the symphonies of Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, St. Louis, Houston, Indianapolis, Syracuse, Utah and Colorado. She appears frequently in major venues throughout Canada and the United States, and also collaborates with chamber ensembles such as the Takacs, Colorado and Vogler quartets.

Cheng’s many honors include a Gold Medal at the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Masters Competition, the distinction of being the first Canadian to win the Montreal International Piano Competition, the Medal of Excellence from the Salzburg Mozarteum for her outstanding interpretations of Mozart, and a Career Development Grant from the Canada Council.

Cheng’s debut recording of two Mozart concertos with the CBC Vancouver Orchestra received glowing reviews. Other CDs include: for Koch International, Clara Schumann’s Concerto in A Minor with JoAnn Falletta and the Women’s Philharmonic; for CBC Records, selected works of Clara and Robert Schumann, four Spanish concertos with Hans Graf and the Calgary Philharmonic, and most recently, the two Shostakovich concertos with Mario Bernardi and the CBC Radio Orchestra. Upcoming recording projects in 2003 include an all-Chopin program and additional Mozart concertos.

Chow has performed throughout North America and in Asia as orchestral soloist and recitalist. He has been a prize winner in numerous competitions, including the University of Maryland International Piano Competition, the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Artist Competition and the New York Piano Teachers Congress International Piano Competition.

Chow’s appearances as soloist with orchestra include the National Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Pan-Asia Symphony in Hong Kong and the Mozarteum Orchestra in Salzburg. He has also become widely known as a chamber musician, performing extensively with Cheng as well as his twin brother, Alan. A native of Miami he graduated with highest honors and as co-valedictorian of his class at the University of Maryland. He received the Victor Herbert Prize in Piano from the Juilliard School and held the Joseph Battista Memorial Scholarship at Indiana University.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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